When someone is pulled over for a suspected DUI, one of the things law enforcement will ask someone to do is take a breathalyzer test. Breathalyzers are used to measure someone’s blood alcohol content through their breath. Breathalyzers are the prevalent method of measuring blood alcohol content during a road stop. What many people do not know, is that despite their widespread use, there are many breathalyzer issues in West Palm Beach DUI cases. Like any bit of technology, the results of a breathalyzer test can be inaccurate which can result in inaccurate DUI charges. If you have been charged with a DUI, get in touch with a capable DUI lawyer who can defend you against these charges and can use breathalyzer issues to build your case.
Calibration of Machines
At a minimum, each breathalyzer machine must be inspected once a year by a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agency inspector. Typically, there are one or two inspectors that go around the State, inspecting each machine maintained by the individual police departments.
The police departments have the responsibility to send the instrument or the machine out to be maintained once a year. Just like a car tune-up, these machines need to be maintained regularly. In addition, they have to be calibrated by the local police departments on a monthly basis.
In order to calibrate the machines, the state sends out a ‘stock solution’ with a known amount of alcohol in it, and there is a procedure in which they run that solution through the machine to make sure that the machine gives the same result that is in the stock sample.
When representing a case, the attorney should pull the yearly annual inspection reports, the annual maintenance reports, and the monthly calibration logs for the particular machine used on the individual charged. The daily logs are examined as well, because every time a test is given, it is logged as to who took the test and what the results were so that you can look for issues with the machine. Attorneys will examine whether or not the machines need to be rebooted, whether or not they gave false positives and also if there is a variance, or not, in the levels that are given by the machine.
If the machine says everyone is at a 0.18 and no one is different, there is something wrong with the machine. So, an attorney will want to look to see if the machine has a history of conflicting or confusing results over time.
Other Testing Techniques
Government experts continue to rely on the breathalyzer machine because there is no alternative that is cost-effective, economical and speedy in getting the results. It is not the best way to test a person’s blood alcohol level, especially considering breathalyzer issues in West Palm Beach DUI cases, but it is what they have and it is typically the only test they offer.
The best way is to give everyone a blood or a urine test to determine whether or not they have drugs on board or what their blood alcohol level is. The government claims it costs too much money to give everyone a blood test to send to the laboratory.
Benefits of an Attorney
When it comes to DUI arrests, breathalyzer tests are seen as a valid way of assessing someone’s blood alcohol content, despite breathalyzer issues in West Palm Beach DUI cases. People are constantly challenging the government to come up with a better methodology or better technology to use for testing a person’s blood alcohol content than the breathalyzer. The question that a West Palm Beach DUI attorney will pose to a jury in a case is if law enforcement is supposed to be testing a person’s blood alcohol level, why are they using a breath test? If you have been charged with a DUI, a skilled lawyer can use issues with breathalyzer tests to bolster your defense.